Arizona is one of the top states for seniors considering retirement. It is the second most popular state for seniors who are considering moving out-of-state, and recent developments might make it the first.

Housing

1 out of 10 adults nearing retirement age is considering Arizona as their destination, citing housing as the most significant reason. Sixty percent of retirees have less than $100,000 in savings. They need to make that amount last for years — or even a decade or two — and expensive housing makes that impossible. Phoenix and several other cities in the state have more than 100 communities dedicated to assisted and independent senior living. These communities usually have programs that encourage social interactions and physical activities to promote a sense of well-being. Most pensioners in Arizona spend less than 30 percent of their income in housing costs — even less for homeowners. If you’re considering buying a home, Arizona homes cost 20-30 percent less compared to the nationwide average and property taxes account for less than 1 percent of a house’s value.

Taxes

The government taking a bite out of your already measly savings can be infuriating. While Arizona may not have the zero income tax of Florida, income from pension is only taxed around 2-4 percent, and they’re still eligible for deductions. Your social security will remain untouched, and you’ll receive tax credits for purchasing health insurance, water conservation systems, or solar power systems. Since 2005, the state has abolished gift taxes, estate taxes, and capital gains taxes. Arizona has no sales tax. Instead, it has a Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT). A TPT taxes the vendor instead of the buyer, and it typically adds a smaller percentage compared to an actual sales tax. Senior homes in Arizona fall under the purview of the Seniors Property Valuation Laws, ensuring that seniors won’t pay more than 1 percent of a property’s cash value.

Weather

city at night

More than 300,000 retirees take a trip to Arizona during the winter. Temperatures in the state rarely fall below 40°F, ensuring no cold pangs on weak knees stricken with arthritis. Snow is scarce, so you won’t be shoveling to clear a path or risk slipping on a patch of ice. The summer can be a bit hot, but the dry air makes it more tolerable — certainly nothing a swamp cooler or an air conditioning unit can’t solve. The lack of humidity also decreases the chances of having flu (or any airborne disease) outbreaks. The dry arid air has been shown to be quite effective in managing cases of asthma and in reducing the chances of heart attacks. The constant sunny days have also proven to be effective in boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, managing stress, and reducing the symptoms of depression. The calm weather is a bonus, especially since the state rarely faces disasters similar to the ones continually hitting Florida.

Arizona’s warm and predictable weather, affordable housing, and low tax rates are making it one of the most popular retiree destination. Seniors visiting over the winter now have more reasons to make their visit permanent.